Frequent expression of sialyl Le(a) in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

Int J Oncol. 2000 Oct;17(4):701-5.


Sialyl Le(a) antigen (CA19-9), a member of a family of high molecular weight glycoproteins, was originally described as a gastrointestinal- and pancreatic-specific tumor marker. Recent studies have demonstrated that sialyl Le(a) is a ligand for E-selectin and may play an important role in tumor metastasis. However, expression patterns of sialyl Le(a) have not yet been established in human esophageal carcinomas. In this study, we examined sialyl Le(a) expression and its histopathological localization in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Sialyl Le(a) immunoreactivity was detected in 28 (51.9%) of the 54 esophageal squamous cell carcinomas, regardless of the depth of tumor invasion, vascular invasion or lymph nodal status. In 13 cases (29.5%), significant sialyl Le(a) expression was detected not only in the intramucosal carcinoma components, but also in the invasive carcinoma components. These observation suggested that sialyl Le(a) expression is associated with early-stage cancer progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CA-19-9 Antigen
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Gangliosides / biosynthesis*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry


  • CA-19-9 Antigen
  • Gangliosides
  • sialyl Le(a) ganglioside